Sorry, What to Watch took a turkey day break as last week was really light on new product worth mentioning. This week? Pretty much the same but we don’t want you to miss us too badly. Here’s five recent Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming releases that may have caught your attention on new release shelves lately, ranked in the order we’d add them to our holiday wish list.
CHICAGO – Ang Lee won his second Oscar this year for his work on “Life of Pi” but he wasn’t even nominated for one of the best films of his career, the masterful “The Ice Storm,” recently upgraded to Blu-ray by Criterion and re-released on DVD. Few films from 1997 have held up more completely as Lee’s adaptation of the Rick Moody novel feels even more symbolically dense and accomplished. It’s a stellar drama, one of the best of the ’90s, and Criterion has loaded it down with special features.
CHICAGO – Adam Sandler has become such a lazy filmmaker that he’s now just building films around his personal vacation schedule. He wanted to take an outdoors-y vacation with his friends and the result was “Grown Ups.” He wanted to go to Hawaii and the result was “Just Go With It.” He wanted to take a cruise and we have to sit through “Jack and Jill.”
CHICAGO – Just as Peter Jackson’s adaptation of “The Lovely Bones” suffered from visual over-saturation, writer/producer Guillermo del Toro’s remake of John Newland’s 1973 TV movie succumbs to ineffectual excess. As soon as its fearsome creatures appear for longer than a flash frame, they instantly lose their scare-factor. Didn’t del Toro and his crew learn anything from “Signs”?
CHICAGO – No one will ever accuse Adam Sandler of not knowing his audience and the reason they keep coming back to his “Happy Madison” genre of films – he delivers the oddball characters, lots of bodily fluids/sounds, physical beatings and the know-it-all straight man. Add the gooey sentiment and out spews the latest, “Jack and Jill.”
CHICAGO – Director Dito Montiel and star Channing Tatum were once tagged with the label of the hot new debut artistic partnership. 2006’s great “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” introduced both men to the world and it felt like it could be the calling card for a creative team to someday rival Scorsese & De Niro. Tatum reunited with Montiel on the disappointing “Fighting” and their latest venture, “The Son of No One,” while an improvement on Montiel’s sophomore slump, is nonetheless another misfire.
CHICAGO – In our latest police thriller edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of “The Son of No One” starring Channing Tatum and Al Pacino!
CHICAGO – Echoing elements of masterful works by Producer Guillermo Del Toro (most notably “The Devil’s Backbone,” “Pan’s Labyrinth”), “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” is an incredibly frustrating remake, a film that reminds one of scary movies instead of actually producing scares itself.
HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’ With Katie HolmesSubmitted by HollywoodChicago.com on August 17, 2011 - 3:40pm
CHICAGO – In our latest horror/thriller edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of Guillermo del Toro’s highly anticipated “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” starring Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce!
CHICAGO – The History Channel made headlines when it announced it was developing a mini-series called “The Kennedys” about the legendary family and even more of them when it dropped the finished product amidst rumors that some actual Kennedys had pressured them to do so. After other networks reportedly passed on the 8-part historical dramatization, it fell to the Reelz Channel.
HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Signed Poster By ‘The Extra Man’ Stars Kevin Kline, Paul Dano; Three Magnolia DVDsSubmitted by HollywoodChicago.com on August 18, 2010 - 2:17pm
CHICAGO – In this edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: DVD, one lucky winner will clean up with three DVDs from Magnolia Pictures for the movies “The Great Buck Howard,” “What Just Happened” and “Finding Amanda” plus a full-size poster for “The Extra Man” signed by filmmaker Shari Springer Berman and stars Kevin Kline and Paul Dano!